Track: Pocono Raceway
Event: Pocono 400
Race Date / Time: Sunday, June 8th
TV / Radio: TNT / MRN Radio / SiriusXM
Pocono corners: “It’s definitely a tough racetrack,” Allmendinger said. “You can’t really make anything perfect. You just try to get all three corners good. It seems that if you make one perfect, the other two are horrible.”
Get into the rhythm: “With the repave, it is definitely a lot smoother,” Allmendinger said. “It is one of those places that you have got to get into a rhythm. You have to use your brake markers. Usually a lot of these tracks you do it by feel, but at Pocono Raceway you have got to use markers on the side of the racetrack to figure out where you need to brake. You also have to get the downshifts timed right in general. It becomes a rhythm. With a year gone, I’m not sure how the track will be with the pavement sitting through the tough winter.”
Track position: “It’s like any other place where track position is critical,” Allmendinger said. “You’ve got to go out there and get a good qualifying run in.”
Strategy: “Strategy plays a lot into the race,” Allmendinger said. “It’s like a road course in the sense that you can use the wave-arounds, pit and still stay on the lead lap. If you pit before the yellow comes out and you time it right, you can get back out and not be a lap down and then the caution comes out you can be at the front of the pack. It’s one of those races where you are never really out of it even if your car is not great. You can work the strategy and have a good day.”
Horsepower: “It’s a tough place, but ultimately we will have good speed there,” Allmendinger said. “We have good horsepower so that will be helpful. Since the repave, I haven’t quite figured it out yet. I think we’ll be decent there at least. We’ve got good motors and good cars. It’s just about trying to get the car comfortable in all three corners and hopefully work the strategy right during the race.”
Focusing on Pocono: "Going into Pocono, I think it will be a strong weekend for us because of AJ’s road racing background," JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Brad Daugherty said. "It seems to really be a racetrack that if you are good at downshifting and good at really manipulating the shifter, you can really gain spots and positions. You see a lot of the road race guys have a lot of success there. You take what AJ has accomplished road racing wise plus his oval track skills along with Childress (ECR Engines) horsepower and what our guys are doing at the race shop, I think it is a great opportunity for us to really showcase how strong of a little team we really are."
Keeping Michigan in sight: "I think there are good things ahead for us at Michigan International Speedway too," Daugherty said. "I know the Childress (Richard Childress Racing) guys are working on some pieces and parts. Our guys back at the race shop are really working hard on giving us the best car we can have when we get there. We will have a brand new car for that race. Speeds are going to be tremendous. The guys that tested there were going 217 to 218 miles per hour off into the corners. I know AJ enjoys real high-speed racetracks. I think our high-speed, high-grip program is getting better. We don't have the tremendous depth and that's where a team our size could struggle throughout June and July. We're doing our best to have a good start to the dog days. If we can get some good finishes the latter part of the season. Who knows? We could make this Chase and win some races."
Testing Sonoma this week: "AJ is really good at Sonoma Raceway," Daugherty said. "We’re going out there and testing Tuesday and Thursday. We are going to spend a lot of time to get a good platform for the race car and to get very comfortable. We feel like it’s one of the racetracks – and there’s several, not just the road courses - - that AJ and our team can win. We’re going to go out and be as prepared as we can possibly be. We built him a car specific to Watkins Glen (International) last year and we had a great run there. We feel if we do the same for Sonoma, it gives him a great opportunity. We will need to qualify well, run up front all day and have great pit stops. All we need is a chance on that last green-white-checker to have an opportunity to race to the checkered flag."
A win is around the corner: "A win is coming and we’re excited," Daugherty said. "We know a win is around the corner. It would be huge for us to win at Sonoma, but that would also be short-sided. We want to win a lot of races and we are in this thing to win and to work towards being in the championship hunt. We know it’s going to be hard. We’ve got certain races circled on the schedule and Sonoma’s one of them. We won’t be satisfied coming out of there with less than a win. I know that’s saying a lot for a little race team, but we’ve got all the confidence in the world in Brian Burns (crew chief) and our people back at the shop. We have a lot of confidence in AJ Allmendinger. I think we will win that race."
AJ Allmendinger has 12 starts at Pocono Raceway and one top-10 finish. His best finish is 10th-place (6/6/10). His average start is 21.417 and his average finish is 24.333.
Career Starts: 204
Pole Awards: 2
First Start: 3/25/2007 Bristol
First Pole: 4/10/2010 Phoenix
Last Pole: 4/22/2012 Kansas
Best Start: 1 - 4/10/2010 Phoenix
Best Finish: 2 - 4/1/2012 Martinsville
Driver DOB: 12/16/1981
Hometown: San Jose, Calif.
Crew Chief: Brian Burns
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SHOW US YOUR COLLECTION!
Do you think you have the best collection of NASCAR memorabilia?
Do you have the biggest display of die-cast cars? Does your NASCAR hat and t-shirt collection fill an entire closet? Have you saved every ticket stub to every race you have attended?
Is your NASCAR "FanCave" better than everyone else's?
The person submitting our favorite entry will have their photo featured on AJ Allmendinger's #47 Clorox car for next week's race in Michigan.
You can tweet your entries to us at @NASCAR47 or you can post them to the JTG Daugherty Racing page on Facebook.
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Saturday, June 7th
2 to 3 p.m. Weis Autograph Session for fans at U.S. 209, Brodheadsville, PA
Sunday, June 8th
12 p.m. Sponsor meet & greets at 47 hauler